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Bargain Jewellers saw

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Rorschach

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Taken it's inspiration from antique models, I have one very similar, several hundred years old.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Looks to be a good adjuster.

DSCF0235.JPG

My Vallorbe with a replacement laburnum handle (no, it's not twisted). Why do manufactures fit these things with handles that suit the hands of five year old? :? :D
 

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Phil Pascoe":dstgdeg8 said:
Why do manufactures fit these things with handles that suit the hands of five year old? :? :D
Yeah - thats why I added the tape. They probably do it to make you be more careful with it - but it was very umcomfortable being that small.
 

D_W

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Phil Pascoe":2zl09wqs said:
Looks to be a good adjuster.


My Vallorbe with a replacement laburnum handle (no, it's not twisted). Why do manufactures fit these things with handles that suit the hands of five year old? :? :D
I'd bet that the manufacturer doesn't make enough money on them (if they sell at 10 pounds, I'd be very surprised if the manufacturer gets half of that for making them) to consider adding costs.

Not sure what a jeweler would think of a heavier handle, either - we're cutting dovetails, but jewelers are making fine cuts in thin metal most of the time where a light saw is an advantage for touch.

Wouldn't be surprised if they sourced the handles from overseas to keep costs down.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I use mine for silver and sometimes brass, copper and gold. I find the lightness of touch comes easier when you're not struggling to hold something that doesn't sit easy in the hand.
 

D_W

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am i correct that the blade is vertical and you're using a fixture to hold the work horizontally? (like one would use a coping jig?)

Either way, on a tool that costs $10 to $20 equivalent, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to do some extra work to make it exactly the way you want it. The manufacturing of these things isn't exactly a custom operation.

I was surprised a few years go when I thought most joinery saws were a bit small to find a few ladies on another forum speaking up and providing their hand sizes. You may be able to prototype a few handles and figure out one that's ideal, but if you could, I guarantee the lady users of the saws would complain about the handles being too large.
 

Rorschach

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Handle is probably fine for my tiny hands, I think my antique saw probably has a smaller handle.
 

D_W

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Here's an example of hand sizes and different needs. I made planes for a little while - one of the things that I did was find out what an ideal plane handle size would be in a typical wooden try plane or jack plane so that I could poll the person the plane was going to and make a handle ideal to them.

my hands are small across the knuckle - slightly greater than 3.5". I figured I would see a lot of 3.75"-4 - and that was most common, but not a majority. But I did get one measure (female) of 2.75" (which hardly seems possible) and an english friend of mine who really isn't that big of a fellow - 6' tall and probably 260 pounds, but relatively pudgy - had a hand width across the knuckles of 4.75". I didn't believe him, so I made him remeasure and then I made him display use of the plane when I delivered it. He wasn't lying. The number of people outside of my expected range (3.5-4") was about the same as those within it.

I had a sample of only about 15 or 20, but I was surprised. I would guess that someone below my hand size would think your replacement handle is awkward (And there are plenty of ladies doing jewelry) and my english friend living here in the states would find your handle a bit dainty.

Almost certainly, there has been a detailed discussion at the manufacturer at one point that determined the little handles caused the least trouble with the overall buyer's group.

as another aside - I've had three mathieson closed handled planes that were all tight for my hand size. Just about everything else (american makers, griffiths in the UK, etc) are significantly larger. A mathieson jack plane that I have doesn't have this same small handle issue. All of these are planes that were made long after short handles were intentional and handles were offset to force users to plane with semi-open hands on the backs of planes.

Why are the mathieson closed handles so short?
 

Nigel Burden

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I find that most saws have handles that are too large for my hands, 3 1/2 inches across the knuckle. Consequently I usually end up making a new handle. Older saws had handles of varying size, but more modern saws, post 1960s have a "one size fits all" type of handle. I have an old S&J crosscut saw that has a handle that's perfect for my hands, as are my Tyzack Turner and sons and Marples tenon saws. All my other saws have had their handles replaced as they are simply too large.

Nigel.
 

D_W

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Nigel Burden":6b5odznh said:
I find that most saws have handles that are too large for my hands, 3 1/2 inches across the knuckle. Consequently I usually end up making a new handle. Older saws had handles of varying size, but more modern saws, post 1960s have a "one size fits all" type of handle. I have an old S&J crosscut saw that has a handle that's perfect for my hands, as are my Tyzack Turner and sons and Marples tenon saws. All my other saws have had their handles replaced as they are simply too large.

Nigel.
Many of the post-circular saw era saws have an allowance in the handle to allow for a glove (the assumption being that they'd often be used outdoors on sites). IIRC, that's around 1935 - saw quality was declining quickly (finish level at least) prior to then, but after that the decline in the states was extremely fast.
 

David C

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The thing that makes those jewellers saws good, is the blade adjustment on the end.

People used to sell ones without this feature, they were not good, as it was virtually impossible to get good high tension on the blade.

I have tried several other makes which do not have this feature and find them almost useless.

Best wishes,
David Charlesworth
 

D_W

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to get high tension on them, the butt end must be stuck on the bench and the person using them has to lean on them with the other hand (with body weight, hand on the back of the frame and protruding bit of frame denting the bench) while turning the screw tight. As the blade gets worked or the saw slackens for any reason, that has to be repeated, and many of them lack the holding power (or have a chrome plate or something slick on the feet) to keep the blade fastened through all of that.

That saw in the picture above (with the hockey tape on the handle) doesn't appear to have the thick plating on it and is probably better than the inexpensive zona saws sold here. They're plated to prevent rust, which is fine, but chromium and nickel are extremely slick.
 

xy mosian

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Hello all,
A question from me.
I can see the benefits of being able to use shorter, broken, blades. Apart from that what are the advantages of using this saw over a 'standard' fret saw? Is it purely the available tension?
xy
 

xy mosian

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David C":27tuy56c said:
Regular fretsaws have very little tension.

David
Ah it is the available tension then. Thank you.
When I have needed more tension on the fret saw I just shorten the blade. Or sometimes the blade shortens itself.
xy
 
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